Tory, Labour or Ukip? The posturing, the argument, it has all been great fun and yes, maybe a little boisterous. But what is it that is actually at stake here? What battle is really being fought here?
The fight isn’t just between political parties this time, its for a change in the economic model. In 1979, Margaret Thatcher introduced a new kind of economic model to the people of Britain, the economics of neoliberalism. It is this very economic model that ‘leaves people behind’. In 1997, when Tony Blair became prime minister, he rejected socialism and adopted neoliberalism as his favoured economic model. So the labour party were no longer socialists but had become neoliberals. Every election since then, irrespective of a tory or labour win at the ballot box, neo-liberalism in one form or another, always won and for almost 40 years, those left behind have struggled to survive. Forgotten by both the Tories and New Labour, it isn’t difficult to understand the distrust in the political establishment.
There is an easy way to separate neo-liberalism from socialism. Neoliberals want the wealth and power of the people handed over to the private sector, our NHS, railways, utility companies. Its a kind of ‘corporate communism’ which has been evolving for decades where business as opposed to the state own everything, but its still basically communism.
Socialism wants wealth and power handed over to the people so as everyone benefits, not contracted out to the private sector, where profits are kept as personal wealth in private bank accounts, instead of being re-invested into our services.
This is the real battle that is going on, the fight to wrestle the wealth and power once rightfully owned by the British people and taken piece by valuable piece, by successive neoliberal governments, to hand back to the British people so as they alone, not corporations, will be the architects or their own future.
As there are neoliberals and socialists within the Labour party, this also explains why the party is split. This isn’t a battle over a weak leader, but a battle for the very soul of the Labour Party, is the Labour Party neoliberal or socialist? When the Labour Party fielded a true socialist candidate for leader of the Labour Party in 2015, socialists around the country woke up and flocked to the party. Now the membership is made up primarily of true socialists. This is also why the Labour Party cannot depose Corbyn, because he has the overwhelming backing of, the membership. All the neoliberal element of the Labour Party can hope to achieve is to erode the membership support for Corbyn enough to launch yet another leadership challenge. It seems that the job of the socialist Labour members is to stay united, stay strong and stay members. The main danger for the Socialist labour party is that as time goes on, the membership who joined to support Corbyn as leader may feel their job is finished. Lapsing membership is one of the great threats to Corbyns leadership, especially if they are not allowed vote in leadership elections, without being party members for 6 months.
These same splits are evident, within the tory party who have their own internal (but suppressed from public view) battles between capitalism and neoliberalism, but you’d be lucky to find it documented though. Ken Clarke though strikes a lonely figure as one of the last remnants of a true tory conservative.
As for the future, neoliberalism has almost finished draining the last drop of capitalism from the Tory party. With capitalism being a close cousin of neoliberalism, it wasn’t too difficult for capitalism to be overwhelmed and subdued. The return of Socialism to the Labour Party has created a powerful defence against neoliberalism, and over the next 3 years, those defences will be continually tested for weaknesses. The weapons deployed by neoliberals run along the lines of leadership challenges, false accusations (trot infiltrations, unelectable etc) demonising the membership and of course, fake news which is happily delivered by the main stream media in the hope that they can create enough lethargy to divide Corbyns support base.
It seems to me that the battle for the next general election isn’t in 2020, its now. Neoliberalism does not want to face socialism in a fair fight, it would much rather face itself as it has done for he last 38 years. Neoliberal tory, or neoliberal Labour, it matters little. But neoliberal versus Socialism? that is a battle that neoliberalism knows that it can't win and therefore has to kill off socialism before the next general election.
While neoliberalism has just elected its first president in the States, in the UK neoliberalism is in retreat and fighting for its very survival. If socialism wins in 2020, neoliberalism in the UK will be forced back into obscurity and the Tories will have to create more left leaning policies in order to just survive.
All 'socialism' has to do to win, is stay united, stay strong and retain the membership.